Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A New Low Dishonest Decade

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

W.H. Auden, September 1, 1939

Auden wrote this poem upon receiving news of the German invasion of Poland that officially started World War II. Sadly, we now find ourselves in the midst of another low dishonest decade. This was brought home by the repugnant spectacle of Hugo Chavez's bizarre, unhinged tirade before the United Nations General Assembly:

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez tore into his U.S. counterpart and his U.N. hosts Wednesday, likening President Bush to the devil and telling the General Assembly that its system is "worthless."

"The devil came here yesterday," Chavez said, referring to Bush, who addressed the world body during its annual meeting Tuesday. "And it smells of sulfur still today."

The most depressing thing was not Chavez's rant; this was to be expected from a fascist demagogue. No, the truly telling part was the response from many of the other world leaders in attendance, as recorded by the AP:

Chavez's words drew tentative giggles at times from the audience, but also applause at the end of the speech and when he called Bush the devil a word he used no fewer than eight times.

With every day that passes I am convinced that we're living in a bizarre reenactment of the 1930's.


Blogger Maggie45 said...

I heartily agree, and it's downright scary.

12:17 PM  

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